On August 3, 2019, a 21-year-old man killed 22 people and injured 24 others at a Wal-Mart in El Paso, Texas. He used a semi-automatic weapon. He had spewed hate in posts online against the targets of his rampage. His disgusting language mirrored that of our president who regularly uses racist attacks as his preferred method of speaking to us.
Two days later a reporter asked Beto O’Rourke if the president could do anything. O’Rourke said, “He’s been calling Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals. Members of the press, what the fuck?” He concluded, “He’s inciting racism and violence in this country.”
On August 6, the Central Virginia Modern Quilt Guild hosted a Block Printing Workshop. I was feeling angry, just like Beto O’Rourke; therefore, I made three separate blocks for “What,” “The,” and “Fuck,” plus an exclamation point. It was tedious and therapeutic.
By the end of the workshop, I had made one print of What the Fuck! (See below). I stored it away, hoping to print some more fuck on another day. Another guild member made the blood splatter block that I used on the bottom.
On September 5, our guild hosted its annual retreat. The blocking-making supplies would be available if we wanted to use them. I took my project bag with my fuck fabric and the print blocks for making more. Also at the retreat we were making Noodlehead’s Cargo Duffle Pattern. I cut out the fabric at home. I was using indigo-dyed fabrics from several previous events, one at the Slow Stitching Retreat in Maine, one with my daughter, and one here with guild members in the barn at my home.
On Friday evening at the retreat I began making the bag and discovered I was missing the exterior bottom accent of the duffle bag. I endeavored to finish as much as possible, then finish at home, where I hoped that missing piece was. On Saturday morning, I was starting to assemble the pieces I had when I thought about What the Fuck! fabric. Idea: I could use that on the duffle bag. My fellow attendees insisted I add a hashtag to the fabric and sign my name. Anyway, #What the fuck, Wanda, is another long story that evolved at the retreat and involved my husband and I texting each other.
My husband, Dave, is a high school football coach. About a month ago, the team had a scrimmage at another school. When the scrimmage was over, they returned to the school field house. At 2:53 p.m., David sent me at text, saying “We just pulled into the field house I’ll be about 30 to 40 minutes and then I’ll be on my way home see you soon love you.” I responded, “Love ya 🥕🥗” At 4:56 p.m., I sent a text with a big starburst I created with Digital Touch plus these words, “Two hours later what the fuck”.
Dave tells me later that he was driving and just saw the word, Fuck, and the starburst. He asked Coach K, who is in the passenger seat, to control the wheel while he checks out this text. He reads it and says, “she wants me”. We have a good laugh because we really need to up our sexting game. By the way, he had to take a player home and he lives at the other end of the county, adding more than an hour to his trip home. Coach K lives in the same city as us and they carpool.
Now back to the retreat. I tell this story to my fellow guild members. The comradery of the attendees is what makes a retreat more enjoyable. Sewing and making together brings people closer, and we sorely need that right now.
Now that my bag is done, I reflect about the humor of life and the tragedies of it as well. We use humor to get through it. We need our friends to accept us as we try to make sense of it. Some days you have to say “What the Fuck! Wanda”, and you will feel a little bit better.